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Free Camping Australia
Free camping sites can easily be found when touring and backpacking in Australia. Tasmania is especially popular with many wonderful free campsites, Qld also has a lot of areas set aside for budget camping.
Often there will be official free campgrounds, especially in or near to National Parks, or there will be a hidden oasis with camping freely available. Many of the sites will get busy in peak holiday times, but they will mostly be filled with Aussies – great for getting to meet locals if you are backpacking here! Campsites can often be found by asking locals or at tourist information centres in nearby towns.
A major bonus of heading into free camping areas is that bookings are usually not needed. Makes it so simple to go where you please at a moment’s notice!
Free Camping in Victoria
Victoria is our home state and we have explored many areas, free camping and in paid sites. The Great Ocean Road used to have some free camping areas but is now restricted to a handful of sites with limited numbers of sites available.
One of the longest areas with free camping sites in Victoria is along the Murray River on the border with New South Wales. Hundreds of sites can be found for many miles along the river banks where skiing, fishing, boating and swimming are all really popular activities.
Free Camp Ground Facilities
Free campgrounds will often have ‘long drop’ toilets provided (other Aussie slang terms are dunny, outhouse, thunderbox), very few have shower facilities. This is fair enough, though, there will often be a river or lake nearby anyway! (but do not use shampoos, soaps etc and cause pollution). Or try using solar camping showers These are often simply a black plastic sack with a shower nozzle on the end and can be heated up by laying out in the sun – caution though if you are new to using them – they can get really hot.
Commercial caravan/camping parks will sometimes allow people to pay to have a shower and seaside areas often have free, cold, showers available. Roadhouses and large country petrol/gas stations that are frequented by truck drivers often have showers to use too.
AU APPS – Free Camping
Wiki Camps Australia: “WikiCamps is the ultimate camping companion for your smart phone, tablet or Windows PC.
With the largest and most up-to-date database of campgrounds, caravan parks, backpacker hostels, day use area, points of interest, information centres and public dump points you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
The database is kept up-to-date by users just like yourself, so it is forever growing and always being updated with the latest information”.
Camps App – Camps Australia Wide: “Released by the team at Camps Australia Wide publishing, this App combines all the information and photographs from the Camps Australia Wide and Caravan Parks Australia Wide guides and offers a user friendly and interactive tool you can take anywhere. The Camps App has Public Dump Points & Information Centres on the active map”.
A really useful book to help find free camping is Camps Australia. ‘The ultimate travel guide for the budget-conscious traveller’
This edition has 2 versions, the A4 & B4 with CampsSnaps, both have 440 pages and have been completely revised and updated with 350 new sites added and 280 closed or unsuitable sites deleted. There are now over 3,900 sites. This has all been possible by further research and huge feedback from fellow travellers over the past 24 months, we have also travelled over 79,000 km reviewing existing sites and finding new ones.
Camps Australia Wide 7 includes Hema Road Maps, with the campsites positioned in their approximate location on the map. As one person put it “What a bonus. Two books in one – so easy to reference”.
This travel and touring guide is not just a guide to camping top spots for certain areas, but a directory encompassing the whole of Australia, showing rest areas, free camping sites, low-cost caravan parks, national parks, station stays, state forests, state parks and reserves. The guide represents great value for money, especially when the cost of the book can be recouped after only a few nights camping out.